Thursday, March 27, 2014

Good Nutrition & Healthy Lifestyle

It's been a yucky, sicky winter for me. Just recently I thought I might need my gallbladder removed. Luckily, that's not the case! But, it has gotten me thinking about health and nutrition a lot. I'm reminded that when I don't feel well, everything in my life suffers.

I realize that although I took a nutrition class in high school... forever ago :) that doesn't mean I always remember what I learned or know how to apply it. So, I did a bit of research to help me plan a healthy diet and lifestyle. Here's what I found...


1. Help Guide Article on Healthy Eating: I love this article! It has tons of great tips. It shows a graphic of a "healthy eating plate" that is great for me as a visual person. The suggestion to "think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness" is also great rather that counting calories.

2. Six Rules of Good Nutrition: This article is by Men's Health, but I actually really thought each tip was great. They were good reminders for me and another encouragement to "start small".

3. Motivation to Exercise: This article explains how exercise benefits the body. It's not all about weight-loss! It also gives a few tips of how to move your body more.

4. Ten Relaxation Techniques: These techniques from WebMD can help you reduce stress. If you don't think reducing stress is important, check out this list of problems chronic stress can cause from the Mayo Clinic.

5. Get Enough Sleep: Sleep is one thing that suffers for me with little kids at home. Sometimes I stay up late to get projects done. My kids wake me up in the middle of the night too. But, getting enough sleep is important for health. Gina Shaw explains why in this article.


I hope these links will be helpful reminders to you to take care of yourself. It's like they say, "if you don't have your health, you don't have anything." Don't wait for problems to arise to remember to eat & drink healthy, exercise, relax & care for yourself mentally, and get enough sleep.

One more tip I want to add is have some fun! Sometimes we get so busy working and caring for our families that we forget to have fun. I think doing my favorite things with my favorite people rejuvenates me.

After reading all of these great articles, I plan to start small by drinking more water. What are your tips for a healthy lifestyle?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ahoy, It's a Boy Baby Shower

Hello, Friends! I'm so excited to finally share some pictures from a baby shower my co-workers and I threw last summer for our dear friend Wendy.

She was one of the cutest expecting mothers I've ever seen! It was so fun to surprise her and it gave me a good excuse to design a new baby shower set for my shop.


I thought we were pretty awesome with our pool-side lunch and fancy cake. Well, until Lydia from Sculpted Sweets shared images of what she did with the party set.


Wow! This woman is amazing! She has far more patience and party-planning skills than I can ever hope to possess. Go check out her website or facebook page if you can handle staring at delectable desserts you can't eat. :)


You can find these "Ahoy! It's a Boy" baby shower printables in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Free Holiday Tags Download & Winter Party

Hello, Friends! I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet. But, please forgive me for posting winter projects today. :) I feel like I always have to be one step ahead with my Etsy shop.


I designed these special holiday tags just for you! I figure if you take time to stop by my blog, you deserve a little freebie now and then. Print this file on white cardstock, cut, and attach to your holiday gifts. Enjoy!


The tags coordinate with the winter party I designed for my Etsy shop. I've been thinking about it for a long time and working on it all week. I'm so glad that it turned out how I imagined.


I thought it would be fun to have the welcome sign say, "Baby, it's cold outside." It's kind of fun and different. It works great for any winter occasion. But, wouldn't this sign be perfect for a baby shower?


I love the font on this banner! It's so pretty and elegant. I used shimmery silver ribbon to string my letters. I also added a little silver glitter glue around the oval. I chose the phrase "Winter Wishes" because it's versatile for a birthday party, baby shower, bridal shower, New Year's party...


It's seems like you can't have a party without cupcakes these days. Each cupcake topper is unique, just like every snowflake. :-)


For refreshments, s'mores are a great winter treat -- or anytime really :-). Roast your marshmallows by the fire, candlelight, or stovetop. I wrapped the chocolate covered graham crackers in strips of snowflake paper.


Is there a more perfect drink than hot cocoa for a winter party? I don't think so. Make it gourmet with fancy marshmallows, candy canes, and whip cream.


I decided just to wrap the favors in white tissue paper. Maybe it's a little cheesy. But, I thought having the tags say "Thank you snow much" was cute. I was super excited to find the pretty white ribbon with elegant silver accents at the dollar store.


I've noticed most printable party sets don't include the invitations. But mine do! I think it's cool to have everything you need, including thank you cards all together. So, go check out my shop and tell you're friends.


Special thanks to the Graphics Fairy for the pretty snowflake shapes! She has tons of free graphics. So, go check it out. :) I'm also linking up to Skip to My Lou's Made by You Monday.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Easy Apple Heart Pastry: Hand Pies Recipe

I was cleaning out my photos and found photos I took of these cute little hand pies. We used to make these growing up all the time. It wasn't until yesterday that I discovered their real name is hand pies. We just called them pastries. :)



I think I made these for someone's birthday at work a while back... See I told you I've been making things to share! I just forget about them. ;) Anyway, if you'd like to make a simple dessert with a handmade touch, give it a try. They're a lot of fun and tasty too.

INGREDIENTS:
Jiffy Pie Crust Mix
Pie Filling

1. Prepare crust as directed on the package. You could also use your favorite pie crust recipe. Divide the crust up into several balls. I think I made 8-10.
2. Roll the balls flat with a rolling pin.



3. Cut large circles out of the dough using a bowl.



4. Fold the circle in half and cut a very small half heart shape out.



5. Open the circle and place a small scoop of pie filling inside.
6. Dip your finger in water and run it along the outside edge of the circle.
7. Fold your circle in half so the heart is centered on your half circle.



8. Squish the edges of the half circle together using a fork.
9. Top with cinnamon and sugar, if desired.
10. Bake on a greased cookie sheet. I think I did about 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Enjoy!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Little Pumpkin Party & Free Printable Autumn Garland Download

Thanks for being patient with all of my party posts lately. I have been doing a lot of other projects too that I'm looking forward to showing. First, I want to share this party I designed for my daughter's 2nd birthday in case you are thinking about throwing an autumn party.


Here's a free autumn garland printable file to get you started. Print the file out, cut each leaf out and sew them together. Even if you're not throwing a party, this will make a cute fall decoration. You could also use them for scrapbooking, cards, or a wreath. Personal use only.


Ok, now onto the party. I decided to do a "Little Pumpkin" theme since her birthday is this fall and she's our little pumpkin. :) These designs work great for a toddler's birthday, kid's autumn party, or baby shower.


GOODIES: I had a lot of fun putting the favors together. Kids love these little pumpkin candies and they're so cute. I used this super easy recipe to make pumpkin cookies. Yum! You could also serve this with apple cider.


DECOR: The welcome sign might be my favorite part. I just love the way all the graphics come together. There are so many other cute pumpkin & fall decorations that go great with these colors and theme. You can cut strips of paper and make your own pumpkins like these or make my free leaf garland if you don't want to spend money.


If you want to make a party just like mine, stop by my Esty shop here. I include everything in this set, even the invitations. I think it would be fun to cut around the pumpkin shape to make a unique shape for your invites.

Hope this gives you some inspiration for your fall party!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tea Party Set - Birthday, Shower, or Just Because!

Hi Friends! I designed this Tea Party for my friend Kristie's birthday and so far it's my most popular party set. I love that you can use it for a birthday, baby shower, bridal shower, or just for fun!



Here's the whole thing. Doesn't it make you want to have a tea party? We used to throw tea parties just for fun when I was a teenager. Ya, my friends and I are nerds. :)



PARTY FAVORS: These little tags are perfect for party favors. You can tie them around whatever you want. Wouldn't it be fun to wrap them around the handle of a tea cup with a tea packet or candle inside? I would love to take that favor home.



DECORATIONS: This welcome sign has been a big hit in my Etsy shop. I think the tea pot and other graphics I adapted from the Graphics Fairy really help give it that shabby chic look. Here's a tip. Next time you have a party, add a welcome sign to your door to announce where the party location.



MORE DECOR: The "TEA" banner may be my favorite part of this set! You can also spell "EAT". I thought that was pretty clever. :) Another decor idea is tea cups, of course. It's fun to scour the thrift stores for tea cups and saucers. Try mixing sets or plant flowers inside for a centerpiece.



MY PARTY SET: This is what comes with my party set. I try to make sure my sets include everything you need for your party, including invitations and thank you cards.



COORDINATING PAPERS: I've started doing a few digital paper packs too. I work at a scrapbook company so I've steered away from this in the past. But, I checked with my awesome employer and they said it was ok.

So, that's what I've been up to! Making party sets and getting ready for my oldest to go to 1st grade. What's new with you? I love comments.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Robot Birthday Party Planner

I have declared July as PARTY MONTH on the Yay, I Made It! blog. So, first here are all the details of my Robot Birthday party, so you can do it yourself!


I designed this party for my little guy's 3rd Birthday. All the printables are now available in my Etsy shop here.


For the party refreshments, the cake was the biggest hit. Here's the cake tutorial. But, I had fun labeling the party mix as "nuts and bolts" and blue punch as "robot coolant"... ya, I'm kinda a nerd. :) The cupcake toppers turned out really cute.

Another cool idea my friend gave me was to pre-scoop the ice cream into cupcake liners. This worked great and saved time! Just make sure not to do it too far ahead so they get freezer burnt.


One of my favorite decorations is the banner. I designed it so it could be cut out like gears or just circles. The welcome sign would be fun to hang on the front door.

I also made some robots using tin cans and screwing bolts with nuts attached into them. I used two tin cans filled with bolts to hold wooden dowels to string my banner on too.


The final detail I'd like to share is the party favors. They were a lot of fun to make. Find the tutorial here.

There are so many great robot party ideas out there! So have fun with it, and don't forget to check out my printables here. :) They even include an invite & thank you!


More parties coming soon!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Robot Birthday Cake Tutorial

I can't believe it's almost been one year since my little guy turned 3! I thought it was probably time to finish sharing the details from his party. :)


So, today I'm sharing a tutorial on how I made his robot cake. It was a big hit and pretty simple too!

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Purchase a cake mix, vanilla frosting, twinkies, & some candies. You may also need food dye, a candle, and a cake decorating bag or plastic bag cut on the corner.
2. Bake a regular 9 x 13 cake & one cupcake.
3. After the cake is cooled, cut it into 4ths.
4. On the plate you will be serving your cake on, carefully & evenly layer the cake pieces, with frosting between each layer.
5. Frost your layered cake. I used gray frosting I mixed myself with a little blue & orange.
6. Frost 2 twinkies and attach them to either side for arms. I used yellow frosting for this.
7. Frost 2 twinkies and place them on the plate, against the cake for the legs. Mine are mostly red food dye with a little bit of yellow.
8. Frost your cupcake and place it on the top for the head. I mixed turquoise frosting with mostly blue food dye and a hint of green.
9. Now decorate with your candies & frosting.
10. Serve & enjoy.

Check back soon for the complete party details! You can find my robot party printables here.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sweet 16 Party

My sweet little niece turned 16!! To help her celebrate, I designed a party printable set. It's fun designing a set especially to fit someone's style and personality.

Azure didn't want anything too girly. She requested the color palette and no polka dots or zebra stripes. But, she likes stripes & giraffe print. So, this is what I came up with...



It was fun to get pictures of the party in my e-mail the other day. So, I thought I'd share a few with you. One of these days I'll set up my own photo shoot with my ideas on how to use this set. But, for now I'd better finish my other projects. :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Enjoy this Moment

I am an extremely goal oriented person. I like to have a plan and be on course for accomplishing my goals. Unfortunately this makes it really hard for me to enjoy each moment. So, I just made myself this little reminder:

Background from Graphics Fairy

I've always dreamed of being a mother of young children and looked forward to it for so long. So, sometimes I stop a moment and try to burn a memory into my mind as I watch my sweet husband with our baby girl, look at my 2 little boys play together, or listen to the funny things they say... Just feeling happy for life.

Here comes that goal-oriented part of me...

I'm trying to do this more by: 
1. Reading Articles: Where You Need to Live by Jon Acuff, Drops of Awesome by Daring Young Mom, Always in the Middle by Dieter F. Uchtdorf and scriptures to stay focused.
2. Continuing to do "Activities": Each day from 12-2pm I do something with the kids. It can be as simple as playing outside, going to the dollar store, making cupcakes, playing legos, etc. I need to remember to use this time to interact with the kids (not just being "there").
3. Journaling: I try to write a page in each child's journal each month about what they do and say, how they've grown, how I feel about them, etc. I've gotten behind and I'm not keeping notes like I need to.

What do you do to keep yourself "in the middle" or "enjoying the moment"?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Booth is Open!

Hi Friends!! I've been one busy lady, as usual. :) When are we not busy, right? Our roof started leaking, I replaced the broken tile in the bathroom, my baby girl is starting to walk... For good or bad, I'm happy for this wonderful life!

Today I want to share may newest adventure... I opened a booth in a local craft boutique! It's a cute little store with a very sweet owner. The price was reasonable. So, I thought why not give it a try?




I also have a shop on Etsy. But, I think the boutique will be a good motivator to keep me designing.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Robot Birthday Party Favors

Hi Friends! A while ago I threw my little guy a robot party. There are tons of great robot party ideas out there! It was a lot of fun putting together all the best ideas for his special day.


These are the favors I made for the party. I got the original idea from here. However, after I priced out all the goodies I would need for a bunch of kids I knew I needed to adapt the idea to fit my budget.

So, here is my adaptation. The great thing is, you can use this concept with whatever fun things you can find. For example, this gal added googley eyes.



1. Gather your supplies:
• Boxes of snaps, juice boxes or other fun things for bodies
• Now and laters, starbursts, or other goodies for heads
• Tootsie rolls, laffy taffy or other fun things for arms (2 each)
• Tape, scissors, permanent marker, alumium foil, & glue gun
"Thanks for Coming" printable
2. Wrap your head treat in aluminum foil like a present & draw a face using your marker.
3. Wrap "Thanks for Coming" printable around the "body".
4. Attach the head and arms to the body using hot glue.
5. Be creative, repeat, and have fun with it. Kids love to help with this!

More on our robot party coming soon!

I Heart Nap Time

Friday, February 1, 2013

Choosing a Family-Friendly Sofa

Forgive me while I complain for a moment or just skip down for tips. :) I'm really bugged by my sofa right now. It reminds me of the money mistakes we made as newlyweds...


OUR MISTAKES:
1. We thought we needed a new sofa & loveseat set because our thrift store ones weren't "good enough". Plus, my sister & her husband just bought one and it looked so nice.
2. We were convinced we needed to build our credit. So, we put it on 90-days same as cash.
3. We had to get micro-fiber because it was all the rage, cleans up great, everyone loves it!

Silly newly weds! Wrong, wrong, wrong. You don't need a new sofa. Save your money and pay cash. Do your research. Shop around!

Ok. I'm done yelling at myself. So, let me give you tips on choosing a family-friendly sofa.

TIPS:
1. Don't get micofiber, microfleece... whatever they are calling it these days. Yes, you can clean the dirt and spills of easily... BUT it leaves water rings all over the place. Also, when they start to wear, the fleecy stuff wears off and leaves a dark wear area.
2. Pay cash! Make yourself save up.
3. Take your time and do your research. Ask friends and family, look it up on-line. Research and shopping around will benefit you in the long-run.
4. Consider well-fitting slip-covers. I really like the idea of Ikea's slipcovered sofas because you can remove them and wash them. They aren't your usual saggy slip-covers because they are designed for their sofas.


So, now for me several years later... The structure of our set is in great shape (although not the style I'd pick today). We don't have a cash to buy a new set. Instead we are shopping around for some well-fitting slipcovers. Making my own like the set above would be great!

I have too many unfinished project to take that on today. Here's my favorite today by Wayfair from Walmart.com. I'll post new living room pics when the decision is final.


What have you learned about choosing a sofa? What is your favorite... slipcovers like me, leather maybe?